Pads dragon boat team flying to Florida

·4 min read

THE Philippine Accessible Disability Services (Pads) Cebuano paddlers will be flying to Florida, USA on Wednesday afternoon, July 13, 2022, for the 13th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Club Crew World Championship, which will be held at Nathan Benderson Park Sarasota, Florida on July 18, 2022 to July 24, 2022.

Philippines has 25 delegates who are once again expected to bring honor and pride to the country.

The team will compete both in the paradragon categories and for premier categories, which will be participated in by “non-disabled” teams with three different racing distances: 200m, 500m and 2000m.

Among other teams, the Pads dragon boat team was chosen to represent the Philippines in the dragon boat racing through the endorsement of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) to the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF).

The team’s excellent track record also played a big role in their qualification.

“Malaki po itong karangalan para sa Pads na i-represent [ang] bayan natin sa napakalaking kompetisyon sa Florida, USA,” said Arnold “Kap A” Balais, team captain of Pads Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team, in a press conference Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

John Paul Maunes, team manager of the dragon boat team, said that during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) allowed Pads to train, but with the health protocols set by the City Health Office.

Maunes added that in the midst of health restrictions, Pads had adhered to rules to pursue their training.

The Club Crew World Championship was supposed to be held in France last 2020 but it was canceled due to Covid-19 lockdown.

The team has been training intensively for the competition, said Maunes.

To realize their goal of bringing home the gold, the team members decided to go to the US sooner prior to the event, so they could give time to adjust and rest their body before the race.

They will start training in Sarasota on July 16 to July 17 before the event proper.

The race venue in Sarasota is a lake, unlike Pads training venue, which was seawater. They have to adjust to the different external factors that may affect their racing capability.

Dr. Bong Adorable, dean of the College and Rehab Sciences of South Western University Phinma and the chairman of Vicente Sotto Memorial Center, Rehab Science Department, was worried about the athletes’ adjustment to the environment in Florida.

But he assured that they are medically conditioned, as the athletes have been monitored and given results based on scientific data.

Adorable added that despite the medical maintenance or whatever medical condition the athletes have, they make sure that it will not hamper their ability to be an athlete.

He also reminded the athletes to bring enough medicine supply.

For those taking steroids because of asthma or other medical conditions, he advised them to bring prescriptions for some inspections.

When asked on the readiness of the team for the international stint, Ma. Ailene Padrones said that for almost more than two months of training, she can say that the team is now ready to compete.

“Sa training na ginawa namin na for almost more than two months, we’re training three times a day, six days a week, ang masasabi ko po well-prepared naman po yung team para magcompete po doon sa IDBF Club Crew World Championship,” said Padrones, head coach of Pads.

“Nagdagdag pa po kami ng quality ng training kasi sa previous race namin, lalo na sa 2019, wala po kaming 2000m, ngayon po meron na po tayong 2000m kaya medyo napahirap po talaga yung training nila ngayong race namin sa Club Crew World Championship,” she added.

Adorable said they are hoping that they can have a back-to-back win, citing Pads’ victory in Thailand in 2019.

Meanwhile, Sheila Cayabyab extended her message to the Pads dragon boat team and was hoping to receive good news from the competing team soon.

“We hope to hear the good news later on. Like what I said, you were well-prepared for it and just be there and do your thing and bring home the gold,” said Cayabyab, vice president for Academics of Southwestern University Phinma. (Jeanie Mea Pitor, CNU intern)

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